Drone Operation in Dubrovnik, Croatia

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Hey everyone,

I will be traveling to Dubrovnik, Croatia in June and am bringing along my P4. I tried to acquire any necessary documentation but the folks at the Croatian Civil Aviation Authority are stating that I need a bunch of other crazy attachments (parachute, metal plate with ID #, etc..). Never mind the fact that every document/application they have is in Croatian. While I understand these are the rules, it is honestly just too much just to get some aerial shots from above coastal waters. Has anyone been to this area recently and flown their drone? Any tips/advice? Thanks!
 
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In Croatia, only hexacopters (or with more motors) are allowed, and they need to be equipped with a parachute rescue system if there is a risk for flying above people.

Generally in Europe, drone flying is getting more and more restricted and difficult. The regulations and laws seem to be made by complete dronophobics, and are utterly ridiculous: screwed-on metal ID plates (Germany), reserved airspace 30 days in advance (Hungary), semi-discharged batteries only (Portugal), or a complete removal of the camera (Sweden).

Unless I know that I will be able to fly from an isolated spot where nobody will see me (like in the mountains in Austria), I no longer bring my Phantom on my trips within Europe, it's just not working any more.

Thank a lot for your response! I totally agree about the unnecessarily strict rules to the point where its not even worth flying. This is my first time in Europe so in case I want to submit my material to the Tourism Board, I want to make sure I am in compliance with whatever crazy regulations they have. I was actually lucky enough to get in contact with a Croatian Civil Aviation Authority Inspector and was told I only need to send in 3 documents --which is not terrible-- to achieve limited certification. Dubrovnik is a pretty tricky area so its like I will be in compliance with their rules but I may pass through zones I am not allowed in unless I have an attached parachute (the stupidest thing especially since I am not flying commercially).
 
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Thank a lot for your response! I totally agree about the unnecessarily strict rules to the point where its not even worth flying. This is my first time in Europe so in case I want to submit my material to the Tourism Board, I want to make sure I am in compliance with whatever crazy regulations they have. I was actually lucky enough to get in contact with a Croatian Civil Aviation Authority Inspector and was told I only need to send in 3 documents --which is not terrible-- to achieve limited certification. Dubrovnik is a pretty tricky area so its like I will be in compliance with their rules but I may pass through zones I am not allowed in unless I have an attached parachute (the stupidest thing especially since I am not flying commercially).

Please let me know how this is going, when I wanted to take my drone to fly in eastern Europe the last time, I received a pretty comprehensive document describing the requirements, the one being more ridiculous and absurd then the other.

For Croatia, I would need to hand in the airworthiness certificate for the aircraft and its national registration number, my drone pilot's license, national insurance and liability papers and also hand in all flight parameters (location, altitudes, flight vectors and image coverage sectors) to the authorities 15 days in advance. All this would of course require me paying substantial service fees.

The drone would need to be equpped with a fireproof, permanently bolted-on metal plate describing my full contact information. The drone would need to be equipped with a parachute rescue system, and it would also need to be able to perform a controlled landing with a complete loss of one motor (effectively ruling out all quadcopters).

I was informed that for amateurs, only flying in class 1 or class 2 areas would be allowed, meaning completely uninhabited areas without any buildings, roads, bridges or any man-made structures whatsoever. And no flying closer than 70 meters from any person.

The footage would then need to be handed over to the authorities for scrutiny and approval before allowing any kind of publication anywhere (e. g. YouTube). Service fees would again apply.

I was informed that failing to comply could lead to fines up to (and possibly exceeding) 4000 USD, confiscation of the equipment (including the iPad and computer) and in the worst case also imprisonment.

Guess what, I decided to leave the Phantom at home.
 
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Please let me know how this is going, when I wanted to take my drone to fly in eastern Europe the last time, I received a pretty comprehensive document describing the requirements, the one being more ridiculous and absurd then the other.

For Croatia, I would need to hand in the airworthiness certificate for the aircraft and its national registration number, my drone pilot's license, national insurance and liability papers and also hand in all flight parameters (location, altitudes, flight vectors and image coverage sectors) to the authorities 15 days in advance. All this would of course require me paying substantial service fees.

The drone would need to be equpped with a fireproof, permanently bolted-on metal plate describing my full contact information. The drone would need to be equipped with a parachute rescue system, and it would also need to be able to perform a controlled landing with a complete loss of one motor (effectively ruling out all quadcopters).

I was informed that for amateurs, only flying in class 1 or class 2 areas would be allowed, meaning completely uninhabited areas without any buildings, roads, bridges or any man-made structures whatsoever. And no flying closer than 70 meters from any person.

The footage would then need to be handed over to the authorities for scrutiny and approval before allowing any kind of publication anywhere (e. g. YouTube). Service fees would again apply.

I was informed that failing to comply could lead to fines up to (and possibly exceeding) 4000 USD, confiscation of the equipment (including the iPad and computer) and in the worst case also imprisonment.

Guess what, I decided to leave the Phantom at home.

Here is one of the many messages I received. It seems rather simple so I am going to see if perhaps I just get a parachute and return it upon my return.

Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 9.09.02 AM.png
Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 9.09.02 AM.png
Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 9.09.02 AM.png
 
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Here is one of the many messages I received. It seems rather simple so I am going to see if perhaps I just get a parachute and return it upon my return.

Just curious, how do you intend to mount the parachute system on the Phantom? It would be a cool experiment but I assume that it would require a pretty massive redesign of the whole system, new radio receiver, sensors and shell.
 
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Just curious, how do you intend to mount the parachute system on the Phantom? It would be a cool experiment...

So I've done some research on these parachutes and I found a brand that makes them. They're pretty expensive so what I think I will do is buy the parachute, mount it according to the manufacturer's directions, take the picture and send them in, then just take it off and return it. Pretty risky but I think as long as they see proof of it being mounted, they essentially trust you in your respective category of flight.
 
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So I've done some research on these parachutes and I found a brand that makes them. They're pretty expensive so what I think I will do is buy the parachute, mount it according to the manufacturer's directions, take the picture and send them in, then just take it off and return it. Pretty risky but I think as long as they see proof of it being mounted, they essentially trust you in your respective category of flight.

I saw these guys:

Phantom 3 Archives - Mars Parachutes

Expensive as hell, but pretty interesting! Please let us know how it works out for you.
 

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